You just brought a new pet home and your dog doesn’t seem to like his new housemate. This happens to many pet owners that own a variety of different pets. Whether you are introducing a new puppy or a new kitten to your dog, you will want to take steps to introducing your new pet to your dog. Patients and understanding on your part will be needed during the training process. Acceptance of sharing attention with another pet can take some time on your dog’s part. The following steps will guide you on your journey of training your dog to get along with other pets in your household.
Introducing Your Dog to a New Pet
First you will want to begin by bringing your dog outdoors in your yard or in the front of your house or apartment building for the initial introduction. This way your dog doesn’t feel threatened or territorial as he or she would if introduced indoors. Keep your dog on his leash at all times during the introduction. This will give you control in case your dog were to leap forward at the new pet in aggression.
Have a family member, friend or neighbor bring your new pet to your dog in a slow, calm manner. Allow them to get acquainted with each other naturally. Your dog will usually sniff and inspect the new pet. If possible, take them both for a walk together and allow them to walk side-by-side. Once you arrive back home, bring both pets inside your house.
Provide Separate Personal Space
Dedicate a separate area of your home away from your dog’s personal area to your new pet. Provide your new pet with their own private space, bedding, toys and other items that are necessary to care for your new pet. In addition you will want to provide separate feeding and drinking areas for your new pet. In the beginning this will allow your dog to adjust to your new pet’s presence and after some time your dog will realize that your new pet is there to stay. Usually your dog will take time to adjust to sharing his or her territory with your new pet, but it will eventually happen over time.
If your new pet enjoys playing with toys, set up play time for your dog and your new pet to enjoy together. Provide each of them with their own toy and encourage them to interact with each other. A game of fetch with both toys at the same time is a great way to accomplish this task. If your dog and your new pet enjoy playing outdoors, take them for walks frequently.
If you find that your training efforts are not working and your dog is continuously aggressive towards your new pet you may want separate them from each other for a few days. You can speak to the veterinarian about the situation and inquire about any possible resolutions. During the entire training process you will want to stay calm and speak in soft tones not to scare either one of your pets.
Photo credit: dixie wells/Flickr
Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.